New Delhi : Indian women's hockey team on Saturday qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after England defeated Spain in the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships in London.
This is only the second time the women's team has made it to the Olympic Games and the first time since 1980.
Interestingly, this comes on a day when the country is celebrating hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand's birthday as National Sports Day.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) August 28, 2015
The Indian team finished 5th at the Hockey World League semi-finals earlier in July, which helped them to take the place that opened up as Netherlands and England reached EuroHockey Championships final.
— FIH (@FIH_Hockey) August 28, 2015
Both Netherlands and England had already sealed their qualification for Rio ahead of this EuroHockey Championships.
"India qualified after England defeated Spain in the semi-finals of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London, which ensured that the only teams who can now win the event have already qualified for Rio through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals – Netherlands and England (as Great Britain).
The winner of the EuroHockey Championships will qualify for the 2016 Olympics as European continental champions, opening up a further qualification spot which India secure as the team who ranked highest at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not already qualified," read a statement on the FIH website.
South Korea, Argentina, Great Britain, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the USA are the other teams that have made it to Rio.